Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dark Harbor: A Halloween Feast This Year

 by Andrew Gallardo

Dark Harbor
September 28 - Nov 1 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
$20 online, that will go up as it's get sooner to Halloween
*Don't forget you have to pay for parking too
DARK HARBOR! for no other names speaks such terrors as long beach's own original concept of fear and terror.

An 80 year old ship with more history than any other haunt has to offer. The Queen Mary was originally created as a luxury ship and later re-purposed to become a war ship during the second Word War. It was later sold to the city of Long Beach where it's proudly displayed. It is no wonder that several actual deaths that occurred on this ship, some more grizzly than others.

Bowels of the ship are said to be the most haunted area, consistently enough contained some of my favorite mazes. The brand new FEAST, which may or may not be inspired by real events. According to the ship's current captain, during World War II, a cook died in horrific fashion, apparently he was shoved into an oven by Australian soldiers and consequently burned to death. Yikes! Talk about getting fired! Many say the screams can still be heard. What leads me to conclude FEAST is inspired by this event.

For the Feast maze there's a point where we enter the chef's oven. What makes this most eerie is that we aren't forced nor are we told to go into the oven. We are given the option to enter the oven, crawling on our hands and knees. As you proceed into the oven a wave of heat hits you. You encounter the red glowing lights of the oven. 
A trap slides open and a butcher knife swings by your face. For it is merely the chef checking on his meal, you. 

B340 is said to be the most haunted room, gathering so many complaints of activity that it was actually shut down 25 years ago. All the furniture was removed and it's just an empty room now. It's no wonder why this remains a classic maze. Year after year bringing terror into the hearts of so many fans. This maze has tight corridors and scares in every turn. At one point in the maze we see a replica mental asylum. It was used to keep sick patients and later used as a make shift prison. One of the most memorable parts of this was walking though B340 was the bridge. As you walked by wobbled in terror and gave your the impression it was terribly unsafe. Needless to say the friend I was with was truly terrified. 

Lullaby is one of my personal favorite mazes. One of the classics, it provides a haunted view into little Mary's eyes. Starting off in her own funeral, we travel the twisted world of Mary. Containing rooms with stuffed animals and mutilated toys. It brings a true originality to the table. Twisting around from the corridors you are encountered by a banging clanking noise. It is no other than a life size cymbal-banging monkey toy come to live! Think of the Toy Story 3 monkey that haunted your childhood dreams! 

Deadrise another classic that is brought back year after year. Reason being is because of the haunting history it represents. During the war, to avoid German U boats, a smaller ship roughly 20 times smaller than the Queen Mary assisted her on a voyage. The ship was called Curacoa and it led the Queen Mary in a zip-zagging pattern. Unfortunately, the Queen Mary collided with the smaller ship tearing it in half and killing a large percent of the seamen on board. This maze is filled with zombified crew men of the Curacoa ship. These zombie seamen essentially roast you and ridicule you. As you work your way through what seems at times an impossible maze. Warning you will get wet! 
Intrepid is back! Venture though a train in the what appears to be the industrial revolution mixed with a parallel universe where Scottish steampunk warriors rule the land. A true smorgasbord smash up. You make your way though what appears to be a train... Suddenly, you're encountered with a huge skull entrance leading its way to catacombs and plague doctors suddenly haunting you. A great idea really, but it could of just been two separate mazes. This maze contains a fog room with green lasers, which really stood out and made the maze memorable. 

Circus! Because clowns are IT this year. Gather your nerve and guide your way through the most haunted circus you'll see! Containing a ball pit! No circus is complete without freaks and a fortune teller. This maze contains a secret tho. If you talk to Zoltar the fortune teller and get on his good side, He will grant you access to The Secret Bar, which contains a monitor and a button that allows your to scare people in the maze and see their reaction. Careful in the hall of mirrors. You wouldn't want to get lost...Forever...You'll float too! Buoyancy, in the house.

Meat Locker was a NEW attraction if you will. More of a bar and less of a maze. Before entering you are given a nice thick jacket. For this is no average bar, it is made out of pure ice! It's a great experience even if you don't drink you will definitely want to find your way to this cool place and chill out for a bit.

The atmosphere of Dark Harbor was perfect, The night cool and haunting. There was plenty of selection when it came to food and drinks. Everything from ice cream to pizza to this thing they called Scarecrow Bread. Basically, corn bread, but I was sold on the name. Perhaps containing more bars than mazes, Dark Harbor is amazing place to have a good time and learn some haunting history.